I have a Meco Midget soldering system from Frei and Borel that has a
one-gallon (non-disposable) propane tank and is supposed to have
flashback arrestors -- at least I ordered them and paid for them. I
do check it with leak detector fluid from Rio. I'm now confused and
more than a little upset at Frei, because it's obvious that most of
the people who buy this system from Frei are going to use it indoors
(frankly, I don't know a single jeweler who solders outdoors). There
the warning is, right on the tank, but Frei and Borel said nothing to
me about safety, or not using it indoors.
It sounds like I cannot even get my insurance to cover this problem,
since the tank should not be used indoors, period. Like everyone
else here, I cannot afford to lose my house.
The system has had lots of problems. Right out of the box, it came
with the "fuel" and "oxygen" labels (which are stamped into the
metal) reversed, and the handpiece had to be exchanged. The Uniweld
oxygen regulator failed after six months of light use; when I took it
back to Frei, the salesperson told me that they were in fact lousy
regulators, and Frei wasn't using them anymore. (So I'm not sleeping
easy that the flashback arrestors work, either). Should I just junk
this and get an acetylene/oxygen Little Torch, which is not so
We do have natural gas in the house. Brian, I'm in the east bay
about an hour away from you, can you recommend a local plumber that
would understand how to run a gas line into my Meco Midget system?
There have been other recommendations this week on Orchid about doing
that, and it sounds like it might be the best way to go.